By Jess Lambert, AmeriCorps Member, Lincoln Financial and TJX Companies Supported Team,
Serving at Gossler Park Elementary School

Teamwork, communication, creativity, and patience. This year at Gossler Park Elementary School during Global Youth Service Day these are the four characteristics I saw the most from our students. Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is a day of service done all around the world, in over 100 countries. In City Year we do service projects in all of the six school we serve in.  This year at Gossler we decided to paint two murals in our gym representing healthy choices, fix up the planters out in front of the school, create and paint a bookshelf for the library, and design canvases for each 3rd-5th grade teacher, with their name and favorite quote on them.

After weeks of prepping and planning for GYSD, on April 24th, 2015 the day had come.  The team strapped on our fanny packs and made sure our clipboards had all the documents we needed. These were documents we prepared in advance; schedules, lists of which students were at what projects, and descriptions of each station for the volunteers.  Alumni who served at Gossler Park in previous years came to volunteer. As well as, other City Year members and I was fortunate to have my mother help me at my station.  

We prepped our paint stations, got the volunteers situated, and went out and grabbed the first rotation of students, third graders. It was so nice to see the excitement in their eyes as I brought my group back to paint their teacher canvases. They all waited patiently for directions and were respectful throughout the time they were with me. Each third grade class was able to finish their canvases in the allotted time given and their creations were so fitting for their teachers. Fourth grade was the next rotation and their cooperation with each other was tested. At first they all had a hard time agreeing on which designs to use or who was going to be the one drawing them. They eventually worked it out and their canvases turned out great.  Fifth grade had no trouble communicating and working as a team and they knew their teachers so well.

Once the rotations were done we began cleaning up and touching up the murals that were in the gym. It was so remarkable to see all of the art come to life and see what students came up with for the other projects.  I was truly impressed.  It was pleasant to spend the day with some students who I very rarely get to interact with and get to know them.  My team did a stupendous job of planning for this day and being great leaders on the day of.  It is always so amazing to see what a group of people can do when they all work hard and together.  I am so proud of the students, the volunteers, my team, and everyone else involved. I am very grateful for everyone who came out and made this day a success.

Visit our GYSD Flickr album to see pictures from the service day!

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